I was reviewing a guest post that I did on Small Biz Survival a while back and it dawned on me that there are a lot of small business owners who are still struggling with getting started in social media.
When I was trying to figure out how to market my small business online, a lot of times I felt like I was stumbling around a foreign city with a paper bag over my head. Just when I thought I was going in the right direction I would bump into an obstacle and have to begin all over again.
Really, it shouldn’t be that difficult and if possible, I want my fellow small business owners to benefit from my (MANY) mistakes. Below are some resources that should help get you started.
Learn Small Business Social Media Marketing From the Best
There are a lot of talented people out there whose existing contributions can serve as an example for small business social media newbies everywhere.
Originally, I was going to run a “Learn From the Best” series over a week long period, but instead I decided to publish it as one long post that can be bookmarked.
If you own a small business and have been keen to conceptualize and take action on your social media and marketing plan via any of the following:
- Creating a better story.
- Defining your ideal customer.
- Improving your website.
- Creating content for your blog.
- Implementing a Twitter strategy.
Then have a look at the professionals and their associated resources below. It should save you months of filtering and searching around for helpful information.
Learn From the Best: How to Create Your Small Business Story Like Seth Godin
When I started my small business over three years ago Seth Godin’s content was quite possibly the most helpful to me. Seth is passionate about the fact that all small business owners have an important story to tell. He believes that you should incorporate your struggles, your uniqueness, and your remarkable attitude into the marketing of your brand or small business. Some of Seth’s posts that set me on a clear path toward developing my small business story include:
Learn From the Best: How to Market Your Small Business Online Like DoshDosh
True to Maki’s ‘About’ page statement at DoshDosh, his site offers internet marketing tips and social media strategies. While a good portion of the content is directed at folks who are looking to generate income online, many of his posts will resonate with small business owners. The blog content at DoshDosh is presented with dissertation like thoroughness and it will never leave you guessing as to what the heck you have to do. Maki does not post all that often these days, but some of his relevant posts that helped guide my early online marketing decisions for my small business are:
- The Importance of Social Media Marketing: Why You Should Learn and Master it
- Social Media Marketing in a Nutshell
- Social Media Marketing Campaigns: How to Set Goals and Define Your Target Market
Learn From the Best: How to Create Small Business Website Copy Like CopyBlogger
Once you have created a draft of your small business story and started to work on your social media marketing plan, you will then want to polish the copy on your website. One of the best website copywriters is Brian Clark, the founder of CopyBlogger. If you are willing to put in the work, and are willing to follow the Copyblogger copywriting techniques, your website copy can look and read like you spent a fortune having a professional writer draft sharp, relevant, and no B.S. information. The right website copy will help attract the ideal customer for your business. Here are three of Brian’s best articles to get you started:
- Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Effective Copy
- Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques
- SEO Copywriting Techniques That Readers Love
Learn From the Best: How to Create Small Business Blog Content Like Darren Rowse
If you Goolge the highly competitive terms “blogging” or “blog” one site is sure to be on the front page, ProBlogger. Small business blogging does not have to be too complicated, time consuming, or difficult. But, it does require a consistent effort and in order to reap the benefits of blogging you must be willing to make a commitment to post at least once or twice a week over a period of six months to a year. When I first started blogging as a way to promote my small business (CulebraBlog is my small business blog), ProBlogger was an invaluable resource. Here are some posts to help get you started:
- What is a Blog?
- How To Write Excellent Blog Content – What We Wish We Knew
- Writing Blog Content – Make it Scannable
Learn From the Best: How to Provide Value and Develop Trust like Chris Brogan
When it comes to social media, whether you own a small business or not, if you don’t provide value to your potential customers then you will not develop trust. It’s that simple. Without trust and value you will never be taken seriously when you attempt to promote your small business. Chris manages to publish an educational blog post almost every day and he somehow manages to follow 123,000 people on Twitter amazingly well. He’s the kind of person you would want to have a beer with. For the small business owner who is new to promoting their business with social media, Brogan’s blog is a treasure trove of information. If you are looking to develop community and trust around your small business, check out these posts from Chris:
- Starting Points for Online Presence
- Prioritize Your Social Media Efforts
- 25 Ways to Build Your Community
Learn From the Best: How to Develop Your Small Business Brand on Twitter like Alyssa Milano
discovered Twitter after I was already a few years into my small business ownership. Twitter is quite simply an amazing tool for engaging and listening to your customers, handling customer service, and developing your brand. There are tons of “How to Use Twitter” for small business success posts on the net. Heck, I have written a couple myself – 20 Must Read Beginner Twitter Tips for Small Business Owners and Ten People All Twitter Beginners Should be Following. But, if you’re looking for someone doing it “right” and who can serve as an example for small business owners, then you should add actress Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) to your follow list. Not only does Alyssa provide informative and useful information through her Tweets, most importantly, she cares (see: How Twitter Helped to Save the Life of a Dog). And caring just might be the most important small business social media lesson of them all.
So, what’s the real magic?
Small business social media marketing requires you to determine which online tools allow you to best reach your customers and then balancing three key items:
- Providing value.
- Developing trust.
- Promoting (your business) sporadically.
That’s it. With the help of the people and blog posts listed above you now know the magic recipe for the small business social media marketing secret sauce.